Antacid

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Antacid tablets

An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity.

Medical uses[edit]

Wyeth amphojel tablets of aluminum hydroxide.

Antacids are available over the counter and are taken by mouth to quickly relieve occasional heartburn, the major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid indigestion. Treatment with antacids alone is symptomatic and only justified for minor symptoms.[1]

Antacids are distinct from acid-reducing drugs like H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors and they do not kill the bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, which causes most ulcers.[1]

Side effects[edit]

Versions with magnesium may cause diarrhea, and brands with calcium or aluminum may cause constipation and rarely, longterm use may cause kidney stones. Long term use of versions with aluminum may increase the risk for getting osteoporosis.[2]

Mechanism of action[edit]

Antacids contain alkaline ions that directly neutralize stomach gastric acid.[3]

Some well-known antacid brands[edit]

Antacids are generally a chemical salt of an alkaline ion and a counterion, as shown in the table below. The alkaline ion is generally bicarbonate but may also be hydroxide.

Product Alkaline ion Aluminium Calcium Magnesium Potassium Sodium
Alka-Seltzer bicarbonate X X
Andrews Antacid bicarbonate X
Brioschi bicarbonate X
Equate bicarbonate X X X
Maalox (liquid) bicarbonate X X
Maalox (tablet) bicarbonate X
Milk of Magnesia bicarbonate X
Pepto-Bismol unknown
Pepto-Bismol Children’s bicarbonate X
Rennie (tablets) bicarbonate X X
Rolaids bicarbonate X X
Tums bicarbonate X
Mylanta bicarbonate X X
Eno bicarbonate X
Gaviscon bicarbonate X X
Gelusil hydroxide X X

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 23 September 2011 Consumer Summary - Treatment Options for GERD or Acid Reflux Disease: A Review of the Research for Adults
  2. ^ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Page last updated: 07 November 2014 Medline Plus: Taking Antacids
  3. ^ Zajac, P; Holbrook, A; Super, ME; Vogt, M (March–April 2013). "An overview: Current clinical guidelines for the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of dyspepsia". Osteopathic Family Physician 5 (2): 79–85. doi:10.1016/j.osfp.2012.10.005.